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Oakley no longer to supply Chrysler

02/24/2015

Oakley Sub Assembly in Windsor, Ont., will no longer supply Fiat Chrysler Automobiles tires and rims for minivans built at the Windsor Assembly Plant, says the union representing workers at the parts supplier.

Nearly 50 jobs could be lost as a result.


“We have received a confirmation from Oakley Sub Assembly, which builds the tire assembly for Windsor Assembly Plant, that they will not that they will not be providing that service as of February, 2016,” Unifor Local 444 president Dino Chiodo said.

Chiodo said Oakley notified Unifor of FCA’s decision in a letter dated Feb. 17.

Officials at Oakley’s Windsor plant and Flint, Mich., headquarters were not available for comment, while Fiat Chrysler Automobiles declined to comment.

“The terms and conditions of contracts between FCA US and our suppliers are confidential. Therefore, we will not comment on the business relationship with a particular supplier,” company spokeswoman Jodi Tinson said in an email to CBC.

Chiodo said 47 hourly employees build the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country tire assembly at Oakley's Windsor plant. He said it’s the only product manufactured at the plant. If the product isn’t replaced, the workers could be out of a job.

The union and Oakley are currently in contract negotiations. Union members there voted 100 per cent in favour of strike action, if needed.

Chiodo called the end of the tire assembly “a component of complication” during contract negotiations.

“We will be meeting with Chrysler, we will be meeting with Oakley to determine if we can get a resolve,” he said. “We need to sit down with the company, we need to sit down with other partners and determine how this all plays out.”

Chiodo met with officials from Chrysler and several suppliers Tuesday. It’s not yet known who will supply tires and rims to Windsor Assembly Plant come February 2016.

“But again, we have one year, approximately, because Oakley is going to continue to provide the service until February, 2016. We do have a little bit of time to figure out how to deal with this the best way to make sure that the least amount of people is affected by this.”
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